Playing with granade – FictionForum – Medium
Given below is fictional account and in no way related to any real story. This fictional piece is to teach a lesson to humanity.
It was 19 September 2019, just another day in my country, Afghanistan. the country has returned to normalcy with the involvement of some of the greatest superpowers in the world. My father says that things were different 20 years ago. Taliban was ruling our land. They were cruel and reckless. They used to beat us even for a small thing like eating chocolate or going out for a game of cricket. But I have never experienced that. He is quite protective of his family, maybe the ghosts of mujahideen are still in his soul. So today is a very important day for me since today I am going to start my school education. In our country education is not given the kind of importance as in other countries. For Afghans, the only education is what we acquire from our lineage. It can be agriculture, artwork, business etc. My father is also against my school education. He believes that I can go and learn to do business in my uncle Mujeeb’s carpet shop and work there itself once I grow up. I am not interested in studies either, but going to school for me means getting a chance to play cricket with my friends and having a free meal there. Well, maybe a free meal is the reason that even my father allowed me to go there. Anyhow, he is convinced that I will be safe in UN-sponsored schools.
“Just when you reach the school stay attentive to what the teacher says and follow their instructions carefully, are you understanding Galib?”, said, my father with a fearful tone. I replied with equal respect and dignity” yes abba”, “Don’t worry I’ll be safe there”. “And I will leave you very near to the school, you will just need to cross the road by yourself” he continued with his anxious voice” I will keep a watch at you until you reach the gates of the school and then I will leave the place. Also, don’t come out of school just as it finishes, you will have to wait for me.”. Anyone living in a developed nation would get frustrated with the overprotective attitude of my father. But I understand his fear and will not go beyond my limits.
My first day at school was awesome and I was amazed by the peculiarity this world has. So much to know outside this land of sand and mountains. Even this is beautiful but the right of natural beauty cannot be confined to individuals isn’t it?
Similarly, my first week ended fabulously. I got to play cricket with my friends. I got some friends like Iqbal and Khalid. We were of the same age. Everything seemed so amazing and beautiful to me, that I got oblivious to the daily rise in violence in the country.
Then the change occurred:
Then came the news, “So the USA has planned to retreat its troops from Afghanistan”. My father instilled with fear and anxiety called me “ Galib!”, “Where are you, my son?”, “ Galib!, come here, right now, “. I was taking a bath and listening to my father’s panicky voice I immediately came to him. “What happen abba?”, I asked him in complete anxiety.” From tomorrow you will not go to school! Do you understand?”, he replied in a very angry but frightened tone. I being a little kid was oblivious to the crony world outside my home, therefore, I couldn’t digest the fact that why am I not allowed to go to school? I said to my father in a very angry but persuasive tone” But Abba I have just started my schooling. At least allow me to go for five years!”. “Don’t you understand! No means no!”. I was shattered my dreams were shattered. But more than that I was blind by my childish desires. I didn’t have breakfast that night. And next morning I climbed out of my house wall and ran away. I wasn’t knowing what I was doing. And was completely unaware of what was happening inside my home. I was just walking through the empty road maybe because of the regular morning curfew imposed in the city. Soon I found myself out of the city amidst a large desert. Being a 7-year-old child I was frightened. I wasn’t knowing the way to go. Maybe my anger and frustration were gone but I was now missing my parents and just wanted to go home.
Few men in the jeep:
Just when I realised that I am far away from any possibility of returning home a large jeep came in the front of me. There were masked men inside it and in a brisk of seconds, they pushed me inside the jeep and took me away. Since that day I haven’t got any news from my home.
Those guys were harsh and violent. Each one of them had a gun in their hand. And it looked as if they are going to kill me. They also wrapped the cloth around my eyes so that I couldn’t see anything. We were going through some uneven roads. With all the voices coming to my ears I could sense that there was firing occurring outside. I was so scared that my heart was almost out of my mouth. Soon when the firing ended and after half an hour we reached a point where they threw me out of the car. And opened my eyes.
A new place:
Now, this was the point when I was totally out of the sphere of influence of my parents. I realised that they in no way can come and help me here. When my eyes were opened bright light shot up over my eyes. And soon a man with a strong buildup came in front of me. “You are in our custody now!” he said in an authoritative tone” No one can take you from here until or unless we want him to do so! So just sit quietly and listen to what we say,”. His intentions weren’t looking good. I was scared but at the same time helpless and continued to listen to what he said to me “Kid you are a 7-year-old weak kid. You are supposed to be with us forever. We are now going to show you a movie. At the end of the movie, we will give you food. Then your training will start from today itself.”. The movie they showed me was full of violence and mass genocide. It showed that the Taliban is killing people and these people are saving people from them. It showed that the USA has created the Taliban to kill Afghans and this organisation which consisted of young men and women helped the people to come out of the scare of the Taliban and live a safe and happy life under their roof. All the facts are given in the movie clips were difficult to grasp for me since I was a small kid it was difficult to understand the crony world outside. Soon after that 1-hour clip, I was taken to a place where there were some other children. I was astonished to see their relaxed and enthusiastic faces. When I was left there one of the children came to me and asked me “ hello I am Junaid. What’s your name?”. “Galib!”, I replied with fearful and frightened expressions. “Don’t worry we are your friends and these people are here to save you from the turmoil the country is facing today.”. “Turmoil!”, I replied with disbelief. “Yes,” he further added, “You are here for a purpose and that is to make your country safer and peaceful, we all are here for the same purpose,”. Then came an old man with a large beard and started preaching the verses of the Quran and life to us. “There are people who want to kill us for their benefits,”, “They are not right they want to humiliate us and make us poor and pathetic.”.
Days passed by and my training became a more hardcore and physical one. I was taught to fire a gun, to throw a grenade and to fight with bare hands and knife. Just 15 years down the line, I was a totally different person. I got the perception of the world as an enemy of Afghanistan. I was instilled with thoughts and ideas that all the violence, destruction and crime in the nation is because of the US and Taliban. I was trained under the roof of the organisation Jannat (meaning heaven). The whole and sole purpose of Jannat was to free up the nation from the Taliban and US and make Afghanistan an ideal country. I was one of their soldiers now. I started to have strong bondage with my batchmates ( or the initial children with I started the training). Junaid became my soulmate.
The world outside:
What was happening in Afghan land was a disaster. US troops had already left the nation. All the other countries which were involved with the war against the Taliban were also gone. Taliban recalibrated its strength in the major provinces. Afghan government again started to decline. We were made aware of the national news and major events. Since our aim was to fight against the Taliban and other powers ruling Afghanistan and free up the nation my first assignment was to bomb down the base of Taliban 500 kilometres away from Jannat headquarters. I and Junaid performed our first operation successfully and were promoted up in the rankings. We were entitled to the assignments on foreign soil now. I was very enthusiastic about having an attack on a different country. They asked us to bomb down the main city centre of the city of Urfa, Turkey. I was given 5 months for it. It took us one day to reach our base in Turkey and from there we hired an apartment and started our planning. We made all the necessary arrangements.
And he came back:
Just to look normal in the eyes of commoners we took a job in a bakery shop. It was 23 September 2034, and it was the first day of our proxy job in Turkey. We were doing it like every normal civilian would do. We were in continuous interaction with the people who were working there. One of them was a 57-year-old man. He was not looking as if he was Turkish so I asked him some basic questions about his identity, “Hello sir!, What is your name?”, “Oh my name is Habib, my son” he replied with a weak tone. “Habib?”, I thought “Habib!”, I was astonished. He was actually having an Afghan accent while speaking. By having a closer look at his face I recognised him as my father. “Ya Allah! abba!”, emotions sored inside my soul. That was the only interaction I had with that man. I couldn’t sleep that night. “I saw him after 15 years!”, I cried and was in a complete state of mourn. I missed him so much that I couldn’t resist thinking about him. Next day when we went for the work I quickly had a chat with dad. I told him about me being his son. Without wasting any time he hugged me and told me about him. “Just when the US-led coalition left the nation, it again got back into the state of war.”, he further explained, “Terrorist attacks started to occur more frequently in our city and in no time the city streets became the battleground for the two organisations.”. “Which two organisations dad?” I asked with anxiety. “Jannat and Taliban.”. “Jannat!”, I was astonished to now that the organisation in which I was working is a terrorist group. He further added,” Both were fighting for the common cause and that is to gain the rule over the nation.”. I tried to convince him by asserting the beliefs I acquired during my training. But he told me the right story. He told me that, “ a common man don’t the political game, what he knows is the reality.” , “They attacked our homes, shops, schools.”, “Schools!” I said with a crying voice. “Yes,” said he “In fact the people who burnt our house were the ones who belonged to Jannat, they killed your mother son. I somehow got refuge here.”.
A sudden change of mind:
I never told him about my work in Jannat. In fact, I took him to my home. “Who is this man?”, Junaid said in a disgusting fashion “ Why are we taking him with us?”. “He is an old man who needs help, don’t worry he belongs to our community”, I somehow convinced him. I just told him that he is a man who is taking refuge here in Turkey because of the problems in Afghanistan. And we will take him with us once the operation finishes. But something else was going on my mind. I was really depressed and guilty of my choice to leave my home. I shouldn’t have left my family to join an organisation which is the reason for the death of my own family members. During the night when everyone fell asleep, I massaged something to the police superintendent of my city. Just after sending the message I took my father over my back and took him to a guest house. He was not well on that day so giving him a proper sleep was necessary. On the other hand, Police along with para commandoes raided the home base where I and Junaid used to live. Junaid was arrested and tortured in the prison. I had a pact with police that they will not do anything to Junaid and he will be treated with respect inside their custody once he reveals everything about the organisation. I along with my father as allowed to live freely and happily in Turkey. But real happiness can never reach us anymore.
Conclusion: Love and war
The world today doesn’t know who is responsible for the turmoil in the middle east and Afghanistan. Let’s not forget that every organisation claims to be a goodwill ambassador but the reality turns out to be different. Story of Galib was the same. Are we living in an illusion? Why are western countries calling themselves as goodwill ambassadors?
Leo Tolstoy once said, “everything is fair in love and war”. But have you ever wondered what will be the consequence of losing any of them? He never told that after losing a war you will end up with depleted resources and lost lives. Similarly, if you lose in love you will end up with a broken heart and deteriorated image in society. This is the reality of today’s world, we give away everything to the two of our biggest emotions and end up with nothing in life. Therefore always thin logically and with a conscience. Because your emotions are a game for others which they would never hesitate to play with. Have a peaceful life.